June 7, 2016, West African leaders resolved to set up a joint force to combat frequent attacks by extremist groups. The leaders also resolved to send an observation mission to Gambia as the election date draws closer.
The decision was announced during the recently concluded 49th session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting of heads of state held in Dakar, Senegal.
The member states also discussed the need to set up a regional anti-extremist force.
West African countries are facing threat of extremists with major attacks by al-Qaeda-linked militants being reported in Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
The Nigeria-based Boko Haram continues to wage attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad. The jihadist group pledged allegiance to the Middle East-based Islamist State group.
The leaders agreed to mobilize resources to aid the creation of the much need force.